The 23rd International Los Angeles Photographic Art Exposition was a sea of mini galleries and exhibitions that fit perfectly into downtown LA Mart’s sleek accommodating space. Walking through the different areas it became apparent that this exposition included something for everyone who appreciated the art of photography. Participating were galleries large and small, non-profit organizations, colleges, production studios, and equipment vendors, some traveling from as far away as Australia and Germany. As the diverse group of visitors mingled one could occasionally hear the muffled sounds of negotiation or arrangements with gallery representatives. The artists themselves were sometimes available to personally speak about their photographs, like Carol Kleinman from TAG Gallery in Santa Monica. She was happy to talk about her unique series of photographs of window reflections printed on canvas. Also eager to share information was the representative from Women In Photography International, an educational nonprofit promoting the visibility of women photographers.
The types of photography at Photo LA seemed endless. Traditional Hollywood studio portraits or candid black and whites of celebrities were everywhere, highlighted by the work of prominent photographer Douglas Kirkland, the Exposition’s 2014 honoree. His works of the beautiful people were there – like Marilyn, Andy, Audrey, and Babs. In sharp contrast to these iconic pieces was evidence of a range of methods from vintage to modern. Some used elaborate light painting or mixed medias like encaustic and twine. Others were bringing back cyanotypes and tintypes, adding modern touches or keeping them true to their classic nature. Richard Kraft, from Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles added sculpture to his photography to create a mini version of his 100 Walkers public art display.
Photo LA 2014 once again proved to be an exciting conglomeration of photographic art addressing a huge array of subject matter from the quotidian, to the extraordinary, to expressive to the documentary. The vast collection of international work created a truly exceptional cultural experience and brought the full force of great photographic imagery to Los Angeles.